Comfort Food in a Time of Discomfort - 27 East

Food & Drink

27east / Food & Drink / 1691382

Comfort Food in a Time of Discomfort

icon 1 Photo
Korean Steamed Eggs

Korean Steamed Eggs

author on Mar 24, 2020

“Comfort food” has taken on a new and intense meaning in this anxious time of social distancing and self-isolation.

When your home has become a combination school room/workplace/movie theater/restaurant, it’s more important than ever to be able to make simple, feel-good dishes with shelf-stable ingredients.

Avid bulk shopper that I am, I had already stocked my pantry with a month’s supply of pasta, rice, beans and canned tomatoes before these items started flying off supermarket shelves a few weeks ago. Three dozen eggs, some shrink-wrapped Parmesan, Gruyere, mozzarella, and Manchego from Costco, and a few pounds of shrimp, chicken and chopped meat in the freezer felt like money in the bank.

When my younger daughter had to return from her study-abroad program in Madrid suddenly, I had just a few hours to buy everything else I needed in the house for a two-week self-quarantine before picking her up at the airport and temporarily saying goodbye to the rest of the world.

To get organized, I made a list of dinners I could produce in rotation without leaving home. This is what we’ve eaten for the past few days, and what I’m planning on cooking for the next few. And then I’ll do it all over again:

• Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas: Flour tortillas keep well in the refrigerator. Fill them with a combination of frozen corn, canned beans, onions, garlic, a chopped chipotle chile, and shredded cheddar or jack cheese.

• Chickpea Shakshuka: I got this amazingly hearty version of this North African classic from America’s Test Kitchen. Saute some onions and jarred roasted red peppers, stir in chickpeas and smoked paprika, add a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of drained chickpeas, and cook some eggs on top of the sauce. Finish with a sprinkling of goat cheese.

• Gruyere, Onion and Bacon Pizza: All of these topping ingredients keep well in the refrigerator. I also have pre-sliced mozzarella in the refrigerator and canned diced tomatoes for another version. (My husband laughed when I brought home a 20-pound bag of flour — but who’s laughing now that homemade pizza dough has become a necessity?)

* Pasta: I already have Bolognese sauce frozen and ready to be thawed. I am also planning on making a spicy tomato sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic, chopped pepperoncini, hot red pepper flakes, and anchovies. And then there’s cacio e pepe, with Parmesan, black pepper and a little bit of heavy cream.

• Roasted tofu: Roast slices of tofu on a sheet pan covered with foil, then top with a sauce made of roasted red peppers, garlic, walnuts, a little bit of vinegar or lemon juice, and some Aleppo pepper. I serve this on top of lemony couscous. Yum!

I told the (adult) children (my older daughter has come home from Brooklyn and is working remotely during this crisis) that they’re on their own for breakfast and lunch, but sometimes I’ll cook for them anyway when they wake up in the morning.

Today, I made Korean-style steamed eggs and spooned them over short-grain rice. Since I began dabbling in Korean home cookery, this satisfyingly savory recipe has become a favorite for its simplicity.

To keep scallions fresh almost indefinitely in the refrigerator, place them, roots down, in a jar with an inch of water at the bottom, cover the scallions with a plastic bag, and secure the bag around the jar with a rubber band.

Hope to see some of you in the not-so-distant future. In the meantime, eat well and stay healthy.

Korean Steamed Eggs

Serves 2

1½ cups low-sodium canned chicken broth

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons chopped scallions (white and light green parts)

1. In a small, heavy saucepan (I use a Le Creuset enameled cast-iron pot) over medium heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add 3 cracked eggs and 1 egg yolk to a bowl.

2. While the broth is heating up, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, yolk, fish sauce, and 1½ tablespoons of scallions.

3. Lower the heat under the broth to a simmer. Pour in the egg mixture and stir well to combine. Cover and cook at a bare simmer until the egg mixture has a texture like soft tofu, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Remove the pot from the heat, drizzle with sesame oil, and sprinkle with the remaining ½ tablespoon of scallions. Spoon some rice into small bowls, spoon some egg and broth on top of rice, and serve.

You May Also Like:

Sybille Van Kempen To Launch Farm-To-Table Cookbook Series

There was a time when Anna Pump and her daughter, Sybille van Kempen, were two ... 7 Jul 2020 by Michelle Trauring

Roman Roth Creates The Cellar Series, Boutique Wines With Flair

There may be a lot going wrong in the world these days, but for Roman ... 29 Jun 2020 by Annette Hinkle

A Season of Green

If ever there were an edible plant that carried with it the significant weight of ... 9 Jun 2020 by Hannah Selinger

Foodstuffs: Outdoor Dining at 1770 House And New Cookbook Series From Loaves & Fishes

Dining Outdoors 
At 1770 House The 1770 House in East Hampton opened its garden patio ... 8 Jun 2020 by Staff Writer

Shuckers Food Truck Operating On The Waterfront In Eastport This Summer

The men who ran Shuckers restaurant at the Beach Bar in Hampton Bays up until ... 2 Jun 2020 by Brendan J. OReilly

Foodstuffs: Le Chef Opens for Curbside Pickup, New Wolffer Wines And Beach Front Dining

Le Chef Opens 
For Curbside Pickup Le Chef, 75 Jobs Lane in Southampton, has opened ... 24 May 2020 by Staff Writer

‘The Hamptons Kitchen’ Embraces The Bounty Of The East End

Hillary Davis and Stacy Dermont are great friends, and while they both embrace life on ... 11 May 2020 by Annette Hinkle

Here Are Some Restaurants That Will Happily Do The Cooking On Mother’s Day

This Sunday, May 10, is Mother’s Day. And while we know it’s not possible at ... 4 May 2020 by Annette Hinkle

Bringing the Tasting Room to Your Living Room

As we are so well aware, life as we know it on the East End ... 27 Apr 2020 by Staff Writer

East End Restaurants Slash Staff, Close After Move To Takeout Only ‘Eradicates’ Sales

At 75 Main, Zach Erdem, is used to a business rush — he evolved his ... 7 Apr 2020 by Alec Giufurta
logo

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported